8 flaws homebuyers should overlook

The house is just about perfect -- with a glaring, cringe-worthy exception. Should you make an offer or keep looking?

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

48Comments
Jan 3, 2013 11:18AM
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people that don't buy a home based on this short list of stupid flaws have no buisness OWNING a home either. 

 

it's all simple home maintenance.  if it scares you, don't buy

Jan 18, 2013 3:35PM
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That's my biggest gripe when watching the house shopping shows and listening to the buyers moan and gripe about all this trivial stuff...AS IF !

People, They did not build YOU a house ! They did not get your special order !

 

Look at every house with the frame of mind "what can we do to make it ours ?"

Jan 18, 2013 1:54PM
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I bought a 70s museum two years ago.  Looking past the dark wood paneling, I could see the potential this Cape Cod has.  Two years later, it looks way different and I get so many compliments on how nice it looks.  Mostly, it's been painted inside and that alone made a huge difference.
Jan 18, 2013 4:25PM
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I always laugh when idiots walk though a house and freak out about ugly paint,  window treatments, lights and carpet.  These are cosmetic and easily changed.  Believe it or not - you absolutely could live with that ugly green paint in your master bedroom.  It was the one thing I definitely wanted changed in the house we bought 20 years ago.  (You guessed right - it is still green and I am still alive.)  I might think twice about the "flaw" of a broken heating or cooling system.  That could mean big bucks.

Jan 18, 2013 3:26PM
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Having been a residential contractor for over 30 years I feel free to say that that majority of people in the US have no business owning a house
The lack of basic knowledge about the material world (which a house is) that the average American possesses is so apalingly low that most people should rent and let someone else worry about the upkeep

Jan 18, 2013 4:57PM
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If someone isn't intelligent enough to realize that paint, curtains, bathroom grout, etc. cannot be an easy fix - then I fear for their ability to function as an adult.  I am pretty sure all of these things can be tackled within one day of hard work. 
I bought my first home at 23, and had looked for 6 months.  I finally found my perfect "starter" home built in early 1960's.  Yeah, I have gold shag carpet in two bedrooms, and some interesting star & moon wallpaper in the main bath - but over time I plan to save up some money and replace it.  For now, I think it gives a little character. :) 
(And out of all the houses I looked at to buy, you can DEFINITELY tell the difference in the older homes compared to the newer constructions - they are built SO much better!)

Jan 18, 2013 3:42PM
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On the other hand I remodeled my whole house new everything. And put it up for sale. All I get are the bargain hunters to look at it. I should have left it alone and sold as is.

Jan 18, 2013 4:32PM
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We sold a house a few years ago. The house was a four story 100 year old home and I couldn't beleive what prospective buyers wanted us to do to the house before they would purchase it. We held out and it took 2 years to sell, but we got our price from someone who truly appriciated the age and style of the home. People expect you to remodel every room and system. My parents lived in the house for 26 years and hated to leave it!
Jan 3, 2013 11:03AM
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The one flaw we couldn't overlook was my husband's hitting his head on the ceiling in the upstairs bedrooms of an old renovated cape cod and he is only 6'2".  That and no closets at all, just cubby holes in the wall.
Jan 18, 2013 3:26PM
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I boughtn a small house.  It will be paid off in 8 year's.  I bought what I could afford, but it will take time on the inside, to get it fix up, the way I want.  I will have to rewallpaper the wall's and new wall too wall rug's.   But I can live with it.
Jan 18, 2013 2:27PM
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First off, as someone who is trying to buy, I will attest to the fact that we are not currently in a "buyer's market".  Most of what's out there, is either bank owned crap (much of which should be condemned) or seriously overpriced. 

Secondly, since when can a person get a mortgage to buy a house that with a heating system that doesn't work.

Third, only a complete moron wouldn't consider a house because of its color...

Jan 18, 2013 2:55PM
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Notice that it is a real-estate agent telling everyone not to worry about this stuff and buy the house anyway.
Mar 12, 2013 4:16AM
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I just love watching the shoppers who want the cookie cutter cardboard box home in a boring neighborhood just because it has granite counter tops.
But they will pass up a solid old home in a beautiful neighborhood because it has ugly wallpaper and an old refrigerator.
I guess if they are that dumb, they deserve what they get.



Jan 3, 2013 10:28AM
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Glad I don't live in Illinois...................

Jan 18, 2013 4:00PM
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Nowadays people are meaner & stingier  when spending money.

I hope I can avoid their pain and not become this stupid.



Jan 18, 2013 5:13PM
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I bought my house 2 years ago after looking at 6 houses. Everything was beige walls, dark carpet, and builder-grade light fixtures. But, the house is in an age-restricted subdivision (yay, no children!), is one story, and gets wonderful light. Slowly, I've been able to change things such as the light fixtures, faucets and sinks, and have installed ceiling fans. My realtor was wonderful and said I could hold on to this house for a few years then resell. No way, my mortgage is under $400 a month and my house is not underwater.
Jan 18, 2013 4:45PM
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Realtors along with inspection engineers have screwed up a lot of home sales over stupid stuff.
Jan 18, 2013 9:30PM
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Most of this stuff is just good sense--paint, curtains, and carpet are all pretty easy fixes.  My first house, purchased at the ripe old age of 22, was a great learning experience on so many of these things.

Getting rid of the 60's paneling and 70's carpet was easy.  We did, however, discover that the paneling was there for a good reason--the original plaster lathe walls where lumpy and falling apart.  A coat of paint doesn't cover that up and new sheet rock is a fair bit bigger project than repainting.

Heating system....not so much.  It could need a ten dollar blower motor, or a two hundred fifty dollar boiler, or what have you---or it could be so old that it's not worth fixing, or a symptom of a much deeper problem.  As an example, my first house needed a blower motor, the furnace was a Chrysler(did you know Chrysler even made furnaces?!).  The motor was cheap, the furnace was a gas guzzling old Chrysler complete with the light blue paint and gold hood ornament.  Turns out it was a retrofit coal furnace, which explained the coal residue still apparent in the basement and coal still present in the coal room(yes, it still had a coal room).

If it's cheap and easy, why aren't they selling a house with a working heating system?

If moldy bathroom grout exists, why isn't it cleaned up before showing?  If it's something like the picture in the article, surely a person could have the good sense to overlook it, an old house getting a green spot under the tub spigot is hardly cause for concern.  In the case of the house I bought, though, it turned out that it was caused by an ancient cast iron plumbing throughout.  Not a cheap fix.

Cabinet facing isn't necessarily cheap.  If a house is old and the cabinets are original, it's quite likely that they are an odd size, possibly not even geometrically perpendicular.  Custom cabinets are quite expensive, and originals can be difficult to assess.  The old house I was in was out of square three quarters of an inch from one end of the cabinet to the other, and the original doors had twenty three(really!) layers of paint on them.  Once the paint was removed, the doors wound up being made of glued wood scraps and we wound up simply repainting them.  The countertop also wound up being three inches more shallow than standard.

Back then, we bought the place cheap(28k), so learning the hard way wasn't quite so painful.  If I'd chosen to overlook this stuff on a hundred thousand dollar plus investment, though.......that would have been a pretty rough discovery.
May 20, 2013 8:37AM
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For those selling a house, $500.00 worth of neutral paint will bring $5000.00 back. Also empty your overflowing closets. And please clean the potty and sinks. You are throwing out money by thinking I will leave it for the next guy. I have been able to increase my sales by 10s of thousands of dollars through out the years just making things neat and clean. 
Jan 18, 2013 2:51PM
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It should be noted that the "unappealing paint" issue ONLY applies to the inside of the house. Having the exterior re-painted would be a major hassle and expense. I mention this because some people near my parents home painted the outside of their house the exact same blue as in the picture right before they put it up for sale...I kid you not. Even the guy who sold them the paint should feel like an idiot.
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